Milk Cup gave Frank McGlynn and Rooney a great start
Donegal All-Ireland winning defender Frank McGlynn is currently re-inventing himself as a creative force at centre-half-forward yet at one stage in his sporting career he could well have been following in the footsteps of Wayne Rooney.
It was back in 2000 that McGlynn, now the holder of a shoal of accolades with his native county, was in the Everton U14 squad that participated in the Milk Cup at the Coleraine Showgrounds.
And it was Rooney who even then was beginning to catch the eye with his deft scoring touch.
McGlynn spent two weeks on trial with Everton before resuming his soccer career with Donegal club Drumkeen United.
His prowess was such that he was offered trials by Wolves, Preston North End and Leeds United but he never quite embarked on a professional career.
Instead, he was to hit the headlines with Donegal by helping them to win the 2012 All-Ireland title, three Ulster crowns and two National Leagues.
Yet McGlynn's acquaintance with Rooney in the Everton youth squad served him well.
"He was showing what he could do even then and has gone on to achieve great things. He gave me an indication of what a mixture of talent and dedication can achieve. But I'm happy focusing on Donegal's game against Down on Saturday," he said.
"Until a few years ago I was able to combine a bit of soccer along with gaelic football but the intensity and commitment required at county level means I have to give it everything. I often say that Wayne Rooney's claim to fame is that he played in the same under-age squad as me."
McGlynn believes Donegal have a big point to make in Division One of the league.
"Every team wants to get points in the bag early doors and ourselves and Down are no exception to this," he added.